What is a company policy template? (With examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 December 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

All organisations create their own rules, guidelines and regulations to ensure operational effectiveness, staff safety for staff and legal compliance. Company policies include a range of requirements such as dress codes, mobile phone usage, tidy desk policies and other procedures that employees adhere to. Creating these policies and providing them to the workforce is much easier if you use a suitable template. In this article, we discuss what a company policy template is, outline how to write a company policy and provide some examples to help you.

What is a company policy template?

A company policy template is a customisable document with basic information about company policies or procedures. The template might include a list of definitions for specific phrases to use in policies or a formatting guide for certain policy sections. It's a tool that policy creators use to create new policies that feature the correct definitions and layout. This allows the organisation to create new guidelines for specific business areas. Policy-specific templates also exist, such as privacy policies, to act as a reference for certain activities.

Company policies are important for educating employees about the appropriate actions to take in certain situations. These policies might outline company expectations, adhere to legislation or ensure staff work safely and respectfully. The reason these templates work well is that policies often follow a structured format that includes the following:

  • a purpose or objective

  • definitions of any key terms or terminology

  • scope and limitations of the policy

  • responsibilities or actions to take

Related: What is a business policy and why is it important?

How to write a company policy

If you want to learn how to write a company policy, take a look at the steps below:

1. Organise your policies

Before creating policies for your organisation, create a list of all the relevant laws and regulations. This outlines the most high-liability concerns for your organisation that might result in litigation. Another important area to consider is guiding appropriate behaviour for various workplace operations and situations. Think about the processes and operations that are most important for staff to do properly and others which are more open to interpretation.

Try to ensure that your policies provide clear, concise and consistent guidelines. Before writing your policies, consider the potential questions employees might have around them. Your policies won't answer all these questions, but they may clarify certain guidelines, steps and values. To help with this, consider the following questions when choosing policies:

  • How might employees act on this information?

  • How might this be effectively supervised?

  • Is there a framework for investigation or review?

  • Is there a way to train employees in this area?

Related: 10 key HR policies and procedures including examples

2. Use reliable and trusted reference materials

Effective policies typically build upon existing sources and references. Although policies are typically customised to meet an organisation's specific needs, bringing in external sources adds a level of authority and makes them easier to justify. You may do this by:

  • using templates from reputable sources to outline the layout of your policy

  • bringing in a legal advisor who understands the laws around specific industries

Related: How to write a social media policy (with tips and examples)

3. Decide on a policy structure

Once you've established your policies, create a template to bring structure to their content. All your policies may follow a similar layout and design, so remember to use the same font type and sizing. Ensure a consistent format throughout your policies to add some authority and credibility to them. This also makes it easier to read through different policies if they all follow the same format. When making digital versions, make sure to save them as a PDF file for ease of access. A standard policy structure tends to include a few key details, such as:

  • Purpose statement: The main purpose of the policy.

  • Policy statement: A brief overview of the topic and what the organisation expects from it.

  • Definitions: This section clarifies any terms and phrases found in the policy that may have other meanings.

  • Procedures: These break down the guidelines in a step-by-step instructional format.

  • Preferred conduct: This area summarises the appropriate behaviours and actions employees take in certain situations.

  • Prohibited conduct: This part of the policy outlines any prohibited behaviours that employees may avoid.

  • Reporting requirements: This lets employees know what to do in the event of an incident that's relevant to the policy.

Related: What are cyber security policies? (With goals and examples)

4. Send the policy out for feedback

Policies tend to require fine-tuning to address any missed areas or unnecessary guidance. To do this, send the policy's first draft to other senior leaders and managers for feedback. It's important that as many leaders as possible review the policy to give their approval. Any feedback or notes may refine the policy and ensure that it safeguards the organisation and workforce.

Related: The importance of feedback (with types and examples)

5. Distribute the revised policy to employees

Once the policy has gone through any revisions and been approved by senior managers, distribute it to all staff members. This may be quite complicated depending on the size of the organisation, but there are a few different strategies to help you. The two most common approaches include a sign-off sheet at the start of the shift or an online sign-in portal to verify that all staff see the policy.

Related: How to write a recruitment policy and why it's important

Examples of policy templates

To help you create your own policy templates, take a look at the examples below for inspiration and guidance:

Example 1:

ABC Company knows that bringing in qualified employees to work in specific roles across different departments helps contribute to our overall success. We employ our staff with the main objective of bringing significant contributions to our wider goals and objectives. Our hiring policy has been carefully created to ensure this organisation has the best opportunity to attract, recruit and hire the best candidates for all of our vacant positions. Our hiring policy applies to all members of staff who are part of the hiring, onboarding and training process. It's the responsibility of the human resources department to enact this policy, adhere to it and track its performance and suitability. It's the responsibility of all managers and supervisors to ensure that:

  • They understand and follow the recruitment policy

  • All staff levels are officially outlined and approved

  • All positions have up-to-date descriptions that outline role requirements and selection criteria

It's the responsibility of the human resources department to ensure that:

  • All managers and supervisors know their responsibilities throughout the recruitment process

  • All managers and supervisors receive adequate support and guidance to facilitate proper recruitment procedures

All employees follow the onboarding and hiring process guidelines when hiring candidates for ABC Company.

Related: Dress code policy: advantages, tips, types and examples

Example 2:

This policy includes guidelines that The Best Company uses to select, manage and monitor employees approved for remote working. This policy is for all employees at The Best Company who have been authorised to work remotely as a primary part of their job. This policy is also suitable for employees with temporary approval to work remotely from managers due to extenuating circumstances. This includes cases of public emergency and compliance with the latest public health guidance for contagious illnesses.

Remote working is an arrangement where a staff member works from a location outside the workplace. Remote work varies depending on the arrangement, comprising either part or all of the employee's work time. In most arrangements, remote working stems from employee requests, but it might also be a condition of employment at The Best Company. The Best Company aims to provide equal opportunities to all staff members in terms of optimal working situations, including remote working. Remote working isn't feasible for all jobs at The Best Company, as it may not be optimal for the employee or their role. We review all requests and use the following criteria to assess suitability for remote working:

  • Dependability

  • Flexibility

  • Workplace performance

  • Disciplinary record

  • Level of knowledge or expertise in their role

We also look at whether or not the role is suitable for remote working using the following criteria:

  • What are their workplace activities?

  • Is face-to-face interaction required for the job?

  • Can these duties be competently performed alone?

  • What equipment does the role require?

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles